Anime Summer Season 2015 – Final Thoughts

And so the summer season has come to an end.

Well, nearly. As of this writing, iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls has one more episode coming in about a week, but everything else I’ve been watching is done.

As always, I’ll add my impressions for that when it’s out, but a new season has started, and I feel a need to do things in the proper order.

There’s also been talk that the Kekkai Sensen finale has finally aired, but I’ve yet to see a subbed version go up. Perhaps that will also be part of next week’s update.

Talking in general, summer has definitely been the strongest season this year, I feel. Several really good shows, and a bunch of above-average decent ones. Though in fairness, neither winter nor spring were all that strong, so there wasn’t very strong competition as such.

Early impressions for the season here, and mid-season thoughts here.

Edit: Finally added my impressions for Cinderella Girls S2.

Dropped Shows:

Nom nom nom.

God Eater

I called it. The show was completely out of interesting things for me. I do wonder how popular it’s become. I have become painfully aware that I just don’t fit into certain demographics, especially not the one a show like this is aimed at.

I do still feel like it was an absolute failure at trying to be grim and serious, but maybe that’s more on me.

Only show of my last handful I ended up dropping, though.

Ongoing Shows:

#Puff

Go! Princess Precure

A lot of stuff made summer season its end point. I think only like three or four shows are still going into the autumn season. The only one I watch is Princess Precure.

GoPriPre is still just kinda running on its own schedule. I have no idea how long it plans to run, and amazingly I don’t feel it’s started to get old yet. They’re still introducing new characters and concepts, fleshing out characters that haven’t gotten so much screentime yet, pulling twists and turns that you could almost suspect they thought up at the very last minute, and generally being very interesting. More interesting than your average Precure show, from what I’ve been told.

They do have to follow the formula of the show each episode. One or more of the evil henchmen show up, a Zetsuborg is created, the Princesses transform, and fight it to beat it. But they manage to fit a lot around that, and even into that.

Though if you want to look at it cynically, they’re also adding a load of new tat for the ever-expanding toy line at a steady rate, insuring that they’ll make a load of money off of it. But that’s not a new thing, or necessarily a bad thing. If it helps them keep up the quality of the show, and make more like it, then good.

Completed Shows:

So pretty.

Akagami no Shirayukihime

Concluded at 12 episodes.

Definitely one of the top-three shows this season, which I think a lot of people would agree with. Personally I’d set it as number 2, and a definite highlight every week.

What struck me first was the playful artstyle, with its strong colours and striking contrasts. This show just looks really, really nice.

To back that up, the writing is also solid. Great characters, enticing world-building, inspiration taken from fairy tales, good dialogue. I also quite enjoyed how it played around with flipping your expectations from time to time. Would have been interesting to see more, and I actually think this show could have benefited from having a 24-episode run so it had time for more exposition and filler where we just got to see more of the world around them. Still, it ended at a pretty good point.

I really hope it does well. Not even necessarily so they’ll make another series of it, but just so they know we want more that’s at least similar to this. Now that I have a bit more disposable income, I’ll look into getting the Blurays for this one.

Nice hole you got there.

Gakkou Gurashi

Concluded at 12 episodes.

This became number 3 of my favourites this season. It is really, really, really good. And absolutely heart-breaking and soul-crushing.

Especially in the second half of the season, where I dreaded each new episode as much as I looked forward to it, because I was scared of what it would do to my heart and soul.

It is not a particularly fast-paced show. It relies on slow-building an atmosphere, letting you gradually come to understand the circumstances, and giving them time to sink in properly. It will stomp on your feelings, then make you yearn for more.

If you can handle some psychological horror, this one comes highly recommended.

Elf in jeans!

Gate: Jietai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri

Concluded at 12 episodes.

What do I even say about this nonsense, in the end? I can say that I grew to enjoy it. It’s a load of nonsense and bullshit for sure, and especially the early episodes did stuff I refuse to let go of, but in later episodes it started to feel more self-aware, and grew somewhat endearing as a result. So I can’t really say I had a bad time watching it, not at all. I started looking forward to seeing what new daftness they would come up with every week.

And some of the characters are genuinely good. Especially Rory and Lelei, but the others have their moments too.

This is the kind of show I expect to be quite popular, because if you don’t think about it too much, I’m sure it seems genuinely awesome. I think about everything too much, but even so I found my own form of enjoyment from this thing. I would not be against seeing more of it.

She is pretty adorable.

Himouto! Umaru-chan

Concluded at 12 episodes.

This show is such a rollercoaster of amazing.

It’s cute, it’s relatable, basically every character is great, and the dynamic between Umaru and Taihei (Onii-chan) is really adorable. The show has a decent sense of pacing, and all characters display a bit of growth.

I’m not sure if it’ll get another season, as in many ways it felt more like an appetiser for the manga. I might actually check that out for this one. Even if it would be lacking the awesome sound effects and voice acting, I’d like to see more of what happens. We’ll see if I have time, honestly.

So many feels.

Ore Monogatari!!

Concluded at 24 episodes.

Unconventional to the end.

These two dorks are such an amazing couple, and I love seeing them together. The only thing that made it a little hard to watch at times was that I kept imagining worst-case scenarios, before the show reminded me to calm down. Suna is best friend.

I’m pretty happy with how the show rounded off. I think that personally I’m okay with it ending there. I don’t feel any particular need to go check out the manga. If they do make another series, I’d watch that. But I don’t feel like I need it.

A more competent Skeletor.

Overlord

Concluded at 13 episodes.

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I NEED MORE!

While this and Akagami were pretty neck in neck for the first half of the season, in the second half Overlord just moved way ahead. This is my favourite of all the shows I’ve seen this year. Might even top anything I saw last year, but that would put it in competition with Nozaki-kun, so that would require some more thought.

I just can’t remember the last time a show of any kind has made me so genuinely excited! Yes, it has flaws, it can be really corny, but I just love it so much.

I am so on board with just the basic concept of having the bad guys be the main characters, and this show executes that so excellently. There was no indication before I started watching that I would even like this show, let alone love it this much.

It taps into a feeling I’ve not really felt in ages. It brings me back to the time of being like 12 and feeling very excited about getting to see Saturday Morning Cartoons. Transformers, Digimon, Pokemon, etc. I suppose to me it’s like a more adult version of that feeling. Only here it’s the villain who is competent enough to execute his plans to perfection and be the dominant force. At most he lets the heroes live because that fits better into his plans.

If a second series happens, I do wish they have more spotlights on the various guardians. Give each guardian an episode to flaunt their stuff, and show why they are awesome. There were a couple instances of that in the first series, but mostly it was Skeletor (yes, I know his actual name is Momonga/Ains) showing off.

I unfortunately doubt I’ll be able to get into the light novels, both because of concentration issues, and because the visual/aural aspect of the show became such an important part of it. But I will definitely buy the discs when they come out! I need this show… I need more of it…

A lot of gold.

Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold

Concluded at 13 episodes.

Up until the last two episodes, it did feel that everything that unintentionally amused me about the show was fading. But I was so close to the end that I figured I might as well see it through.

Then the final two episodes were amazing in how awesomely bad they were. It will take a while before I forget a line as golden as “If you can’t believe it, taste it!”

All that being said, I don’t actually recommend anyone watch this show. The art is terrible, the writing is dire, the directing is awful, and the voice acting is… at best passable. I can’t even imagine how little Toei cared, how little budget the team got, and how little even the creators cared.

Unless you really like watching terrible shows, it’s best to forget this even exists.

Cuties.

Sore ga Seiyuu!

Concluded at 13 episodes.

I wonder if this was trying to be like Shirabako, only specifically for voice actors rather than anime production as a whole. It does show all sorts of other work voice actors do as well.

I don’t feel like it fully reached Shirobako’s level, but it turned out to be a very sincere, honest, and heart-felt show. Showing both triumphs and failures for the three main girls, and how they were affected by both. We got to see their dreams and ambitions, and what happened when they fell short.

I think it genuinely wanted to show that getting into voice acting is hard, but also that it isn’t completely hopeless. Maybe you won’t make the cut, maybe you will. Even if you do, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the big roles, or even a lot of roles. You’ll probably need a part-time job alongside. But you might just make it.

Also, Aoi is so smol and adorable, and I’d take a whole show that was only about her.

Many girls.

The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls 2nd Season

Whereas S1 was mainly about the girls building themselves up from nothing, S2 focused more on how to handle problems and challenges when you’ve managed to become something.

The whole arc of S2 featured a lot more hardships, reflections, and heartbreaks. And eventually resolution. I think I was moved to tears basically every single episode.

It might not be the best show ever, or anything like that, but I am impressed at how well they managed to juggle so many main characters and still create a moving and compelling narrative. Now that the work was already done with establishing the characters, they could focus on expanding and exploring them, which added a lot of depth. I’d even call it earnest.

So yeah, I think Cinderella Girls S2 is well worth giving a look if S1 interested you at all.

Cuteness!

Wakaba Girl

Adorable till the end. There wasn’t much to this show beyond cute fluff, but I am entirely okay with that. And it did give me some awesome reaction pics and gifs. And the OP is adorable.

Everything about it is adorable. I just want to give this show a hug.

There. Now I can put the summer season behind me. Feels kinda good, even though there are some things I’ll miss (Overlord!!!).

Soon I have to begin the process of looking at what the autumn season is bringing. Outside of One Punch Man, there wasn’t anything that particularly stood out on the release list that I saw. Let’s hope for some good surprises, and nothing that’s excessively vile.

~Wulf

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Posted on October 5, 2015, in Cartoons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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